Posts Tagged 'Brooklyn'

Gone fishing, worming

Nycticorax nycticorax, Larus delawarensis

Mighty Elm

elm1An enormous American Elm (Ulmus americana) crowding a yard on 44th Street near 3rd Avenue in Sunset Park. The old giant took us by surprise: the neighborhood still suffers from the blight of highway above 3rd Avenue, a product of the 1940s and a wretched vision of a promised land of highways to segregated suburbs. Ulmus americanaThe massive bole towers up in the vase-shaped habit characteristic of the species, dwarfing the home it graces. It was hard to get a photographic grip on it because of its height. I wonder what its story is? Who planted it, and when?Ulmus americanaLooking from the opposite, farther end of the block, downhill from 4th Avenue: the taller, darker green is the canopy of our specimen.

I assume its isolation from others of its species has protected it from Dutch elm disease, a fungal infection inadvertently spread by a bark beetle. The damned fungus has killed off many of the great elms in our cities and towns. I recently walked along 3rd Street in Park Slope and remembered another giant U. americana that was there when I lived in the neighborhood 20 years ago. There is no sign of it now.

We are in the midst of the latest city street tree census, Trees Count!2015 This noble life form, however, is not a street tree…

Snout’s Up

Chelydra serpentinaSmall-to-medium-sized Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) peeking from the Duckweed and algae atop the perhaps deceptively named Lullwater in Prospect today.

Update: On second thought, and thoughtful suggestion, this is probably just another Red-eared Slider. All that yellow in the chin wouldn’t be on a Snapping T.

NYC Wildflower Week: Golden Alexanders

Zizia aureaZizia aurea. Check out the “faunal associations,” the animals that pollinate, eat, breed on, etc., listed on this species account: bees, wasps, butterflies, true bugs…. Blooming now. NYCWFW.

NYC Wildflower Week: Spiderwort

TradescantiaTradescantia, whose common name is another of those not-quite lost to history ones: the sap on a cut stem becomes thready, like spider silk. There are two species which readily hybridize. We think this is T. ohiensis. Blooming now and into July. NYCWFW.

Turtlenecks

Trachemys scriptaThe all too-common Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta). Note those neck line patterns. TurtleOn the same day, close by, was this specimen. This one differs by having the yellow line go up past its eye.TurtleAnd by having an oval shape on the neck. Missing, too, is the red stripe behind the eyes which give Red-eareds their name. The stripe can fade with age, but this one is not so large/old. Still, I can’t figure out what species this could be if not a RES.

Two-Spotted Sightings

My first ladybug of the year was spotted on the weekend. It was, no surprise, a Multicolored Asian, Harmonia axyridis, which you should expect to see just about everywhere. I also saw very small lady beetle I’m not yet sure of the identification of. But on Monday, I saw half a dozen Two-spotted, Adalia bicunctata, which made me very happy. (See the essay I wrote about these for Humans & Nature.) Adalia bipunctataThis is the classic form.

Adalia bipunctataThis is the black form. Yes, that’s a human neck it’s on.


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